Best Facts of the Month - Page 8

Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber is on the ISS.


When the space shuttle Discovery launched the STS-120 astronaut crew in October 2007 the force was with them. On board the orbiter with the new module for the International Space Station was the original prop lightsaber. 

The lightsaber was used by Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in the 1977 film “Star Wars”. The Jedi used laser sword was flown into space and back in honor of the 30th anniversary of the George Lucas franchise. Seven films have arisen from the Star Wars franchise including the first one in 1977. 

It has become a worldwide phenomenon. The trilogy was first released in three year intervals between 1977 and 1983. Then, sixteen years later Lucas began work on three prequels that were also released in three year intervals between 1999 and 2005. 

It is currently the third highest grossing film series behind Harry Potter and James bond. The lightsaber is the iconic weapon of the series. 



Scientists made stew from a 36,000 year old baby bison and said it was “acceptable”.

We’ve all stretched the 5 second rule when food hits the ground, but not to 36,000 years! So, 10,000 years ago mammoths were roaming around Siberia doing what woolly mammoths do. When they died, their bodies were covered by permafrost and preserved without decay. 

They slowly became extinct and their massive bodies remained frozen in what is now the Arctic. In the 1920s, people started running across the frozen mammoths that were so well preserved that they were edible! Some brave souls got a hankering for mammoth steak and found it to be edible but awful tasting with massive freezer burn. Not all anciently frozen meat is nasty, though. In 1979, scientists ran across a 36,000 year old baby bison frozen in Alaska. 

They did some experiments on it and then one scientist carved out some meat from the bison and cooked himself some stew. The stew wasn’t only edible, but deemed “acceptable.” 


During WWII, these enemy planes shot each other down, but the crews helped each other survive!

Even in the worst of times, human kindness has a way of shining through.

In 1940, during the heat of World War II, three British warplanes attacked a German aircraft, knocking out their port engine. The plane crashed in a remote Norwegian mountain.

During the attack, one of the British planes suffered an engine failure, forcing the crew to land on a frozen lake. Believing they saw a hut nearby, two crewmembers trudged through heavy snow to find it.

When they reached the hut, the crewmembers were ambushed by survivors of the German aircraft. Thinking fast, the British crewmembers convinced the Germans they were from a different plane, and the two groups agreed to work together in order to survive.

During their time together, the enemy soldiers shared meals and a common workload. Though they fought for opposing sides, both groups only wanted one thing: to be saved.

The crew was eventually found by a Norwegian ski patrol.However, their rescue was marked in blood when a British survivor was shot by the patrol and the German survivors were taken as prisoners of war, not seeing release until 1947.

These events inspired the 2012 film 'Into the White,' directed by Petter Nss.


Some awesome lists!

Did you know that there's an equivalent to a car-wash for underwater animals?

Fish, sea turtles and hippos need to be cleaned just like any other animal, and to do so, they pop in for a quick stop at a cleaning station.

These stations are located either on top of a coral head or between two outcroppings. They are also located under large clumps of seaweed or at a point in a river or lagoon.

When an animal approaches a cleaning station, it will signal that it needs to be cleaned.

Cleaner fish, such as cleaner shrimp, will then eat and remove parasites from the skin and will also swim into the mouth and the gills to clean those hard-to-reach places.

There is, however, a darker side to the operation of cleaner stations. There are some species of combtooth blenny and false cleaner fish that prey on unsuspecting animals.

These animals mimic the appearance and behaviour of cleaner fish, and when a victim approaches, will proceed to tear away scales or flesh.


A man has been told he's too fat to live in New Zealand!

The tiny island country is trying hard to curb their obesity rate, as they're third in the world in that infamous statistic. One of the ways they've been trying to fight it is by simply not allowing obese immigrants to go live there.

Albert Buitenhuis of South Africa moved to New Zealand in 2007. At the time he weighed 350 lbs and nobody batted an eye at that. Since then, however, the government has since changed the law and thinks that the man, now 285 lbs, is too much of a health risk for his work visa to be renewed.

The man and his wife have appealed the decision and neither can work until the immigration case has been fully heard.



users online